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How to Elope in Alabama

Considering eloping to Alabama? This guide will help you plan ahead and ensure that your marriage is legal.
Outline map of Alabama

Planning an Elopement?

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Why is Alabama great for an elopement?

Elopements in Alabama are set to become more popular thanks to their incredibly easy marriage laws. Not only is elopement allowed in Alabama, it’s probably the easiest state to do it in!

With that famous Southern hospitality you’re sure to have a great elopement, whether you’re from elsewhere or Alabama is your sweet home (see what I did there?). With access to beautiful, quiet beaches at the Gulf Coast you outdoor lovers can plan your perfect elopement by the sea. Alabama has a rich history and stunning architecture

GETTING YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE

All states require a marriage license, so you need to ensure that you understand all of the requirements very early in the planning process. Luckily, it’s fairly straightforward in most cases as long as you meet the criteria and follow the state requirements.

Here is what you need to know about getting a marriage license in Alabama.

Is Same Sex Marriage Recognized?

Yes! Same sex marriage is recognized in all states, and at a federal level, under the Respect for Marriage Act which was signed into law in December 2022.

Will I Need to take a blood test?

No. Blood tests have been abolished as part of marriage license applications in all 50 states, so don’t worry if you’re afraid of needles!

Who Issues Marriage Licenses in Alabama?

In Alabama, marriage licenses are not issued at all. A marriage certificate form is completed by the couple, which is then given to a probate court. This form must be notorized by an authorized notary, such as someone at the bank, a public library, UPS stores, a current or retired judge. The notary must be authorized under the laws of the State of Alabama.

Do I Need to be a Resident of Alabama?

You are not required to be a resident of Alabama to marry there. In some counties, there is a wait time of three days for non-residents to have a service performed by a county marriage official.

Is there a waiting period to get married?

Because Alabama no longer requires a marriage license, there is no wait time at all. You are free to marry whenever you want to. If you’d like to have a ceremony, then you should arrange this in plenty of time.

How long will my marriage license be valid for?

There is no requirement for marriage licenses in Alabama. Instead, a marriage certificate should be completed by the couple and returned to an Alabama probate court. This must take place within 30 days of the spouses’ signing the certificate.

HOW OLD DO I NEED TO BE TO GET MARRIED IN Alabama?

You must be over the age of 18 years old to marry in Alabama, or 16 years of age with the permission of parents or legal guardians.

WILL I NEED TO TAKE ID?

You will require your social security number for the wedding certificate form.

HOW MUCH DOES A MARRIAGE LICENSE COST IN Alabama?

Depending on which county you apply for your marriage license in, it will cost between $70 – $104.

On Your Wedding Day

Once you’ve gotten the admin out of the way, you can get to the part you’ve been dreaming of: the wedding ceremony!

As you’d expect, each state has different requirements to make a marriage legal. Make sure you follow the guide below to get your marriage legally recognized.

Will i need witnesses to the marriage?

There are no requirements for witnesses for a marriage in Alabama. This makes it a great destination for elopements, as the ceremony can take place with just the couple.

DOES Alabama REQUIRE AN OFFICIANT FOR A WEDDING?

There is no requirement for an officiant in Alabama. In fact, there is no requirement for vows or a ceremony at all. The act of completing the marriage certificate form and having it approved by the probate court is enough to be recognized as legally married.

SUMMARY

So that’s it, everything you need to know about eloping in Alabama. And if you think that it could be the place to host your special day, why not give me a call to chat about your wedding? I’m an experienced elopement photographer, and an ordained minister, so in most cases I can be your officiant too!

Planning an Elopement?

Get my step-by-step guide and plan your dream elopement!

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